In my first class for basic obedience I have a people only class so we can discuss things without the interruption of excited and nervous dogs. One of the homework assignments is to teach the “out” or “drop it” command. This command comes in handy when your beloved dog has your favorite shoe, or they are carrying a dead squirrel in their mouth. This is also good for the people who will be working retrieving with their dogs, and Schutzhund dogs when they take the sleeve they need to “out” or “drop it”.
The easiest way to achieve any new command is to set a small amount of time aside to do this daily, possibly two to three times a day (5 minutes at a time). Grab some treats, high value treats, not kibble. Get a favorite toy.
Tease the dog with the toy so he/she will grab and hold it. Always have your treats ready or you defeat the purpose of the teaching phase. Timing of giving the treat is the most important part. You need to treat the behavior you want, which is the “out” or “drop it”. Once the dog has a firm hold of the toy, make sure you have a firm hand on it too, say “out” or “drop it” with the treat in the other hand where they can see it. When the dog releases the toy immediately reward with the treat. Do this two to three times then be done revisit the lesson a couple hours later, or do some other obedience commands and come back to it. You want to keep it short and fun. If you repeat over, and over, and over, the dog will get bored and shut down, At this point the dog stops learning. You need to keep it short and fun. You want this to be something your dog looks forward to. Remember to do this a couple times throughout the day and soon your dog will know the “out” or “drop it”. Have fun Training!